Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Please post your questions, and forgive my slight delay in answering during the morning hours.  I will be available on a timely basis the rest of the day.

Natural Perfume lovers: "there has never been a safer time to spray yourself in synthetic fragrance (even though no data exists for some 20-30% of fragrance ingredients). "

You know I can't take an outrageous statement like that lying down.  It comes from this poorly-written and poorly-researched article:

They don't allow comments there, but I welcome them here, where they will be out on the Internet.  Please post your feelings!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Light and Amberess Perfumes included in new 10-sample set from Anya's Garden

The new sample set from Anya's Garden Perfumes now includes the latest releases, Light and Amberess.  You can read more about the two very different, very beautiful perfumes in my post immediately preceding this one, which is about the Outlaw Perfume project of the Natural Perfumers Guild.

Each sample is about a half a milliliter, enough for two applications.  The cost for the 10 is $65, and if you use the voucher code outlaw at checkout, you'll get 10% off the price.  They're included in the new Anya's Garden fabric pouch, so they can be carried in a purse, or stored together.  Each order comes with a card that describes the order in which the perfumes should be sampled.  Think of it as a perfume guide akin to a wine-tasting guide.  You'll want to sample the softer, lighter perfumes before the powerful, full-bodied ones, much like a flight of wines.

The samples now come in a satin fabric pouch with Anya's Garden Perfumes embossed on the fabric.

Don't forget to use the discount code so that you may experience these creations from my heart at a very reasonable price.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

The outlaw is in the house ;-) I hope y'all have been following the Outlaw Perfume project and it's fired you up to be one, too.  Use that rose and jasmine in appropriate amounts.  IFRA and the EU are getting pushed back at by some artisan perfumers! Well, outlaw or not, you're welcome to submit questions on perfumery today from 10 to 10.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Outlaw Perfume Project - A Natural Perfumers Guild Artistic Statement

Soon after I started blogging in 2006, I began to write of the incredibly restrictive and unreasonable "guidelines" of the International Fragrance Association, and the resultant laws from the European Union that effectively killed perfumery.  True, they also ranked some synthetics as "dangerous" (brain disruptions), but the list of naturals, which had been used for centuries without major problems, was overwhelming.  I rarely bother to blog about these issues anymore.  I discovered I was the ONLY perfumer doing so at the time, and it cast a bit of a bitter pall over my blog.  I'd rather be blogging about the beauty and luxury of naturals, so here I am.

I passed the ball on to other bloggers! Nine bloggers will be participating this week, and you can find their links at the end of this post.

They're all insightful, intelligent and passionate about perfumery.  Their readership far outstrips mine, and the Outlaw Perfume project is a great way for them to spread the word about this abomination against natural aromatics. They also get to sample the gorgeous perfumes created by the Natural Perfumers Guild members (disclaimer: I'm the president of the Guild) and offer a giveaway of the Outlaw Perfume on their blogs. 

I've always been someone who challenges authority. In the 60's, I marched for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, and for women's rights.  This IFRA and EU-driven blacklisting agenda against naturals must stop.  Readers, please remember that they're stomping on *your* rights to choose what you put on or in your body.

Anyone can use common sense and not put perfume on skin that is exposed to sunlight, so, there, the photo-sensitization problem of some of the citruses, angelica root, etc., solved ;-)  Think you may be a bit sensitized to oakmoss? Wear the perfume in your hair, or on your clothing, or in a perfume jewelry piece. 

I'm taking photos of vinaigrettes and perfume lockets that I'll share later this week.  They're a beautiful addition to a jewelry wardrobe, and serve a double purpose of gently releasing your perfume. It's all about our choice, and not bowing down to nanny-state governments.  How simple if a warning label, some perfume dabbed in your hair, or on your clothing, or in a piece of pretty jewelry solves this problem.  Or, if you're a daring outlaw like me - wear it on your skin!

I originally planned to release only one perfume for this project, but found I was finishing up it alongside another perfume that was truly outlaw in nature, so may I present Light and Amberess.

Amberess, the Princess Outlaw

Although I have created many custom Floriental perfumes for clients, I have difficulty wearing amber perfumes, my skin just can’t handle them. How ironic, since I adore the fossilized amber resin, and have a lot of amber jewelry.  Many years ago, I was given a small sample of true amber oil from Egypt, and I treasured it.  Then, Will at Eden Botanicals sourced the first commercially-available oil of fossilized amber, from the Himalayas. It is a wonderful oil, and a treasure to add to the natural perfumer’s perfume organ.  And it’s untested – so feh to IFRA! Even better, it works well on my skin, so I’m delighted by Amberess.

The very rare, very expensive, UNTESTED 
                                   Princesse de Nassau Rosa moschata aka Musk Rose

Top notes: none, in the true Oriental style
Middle notes: Zambian  Princesse de Nassau Rosa Moschata African musk rose otto and Musk rose absolute, Madagascan ylang ylang, South African rose geranium sur fleurs
Base notes: Indonesian patchouli, Himalayan amber oil, Turkish styrax, Greek labdanum, Peruvian tonka bean, Salvadorean balsam tolu, Balsam of Peru, Chinese benzoin, Madagascan vanilla

*red denotes untested or prohibited/limited aromatic


I originally called this perfume Aglaia, the genus name of the utterly delightful tiny flower of the Chinese perfume tree, Aglaia odorata, since I was building the perfume around this absolute. The name change was a natural – it is light, breezy, floral and citrusy, so Light it is.  A classically-composed “cologne” style perfume, the aglaia flower is truly the soliflore that sings the beauty of less is more. The color of the perfume is a sparkling bright yellow – so sunny!

The aglaia flower so so, so tiny! I grow the tree in my garden and make a very concentrated tincture that takes a long time to make. Why? Harvest for about an hour and you might have an ounce of the seed!

How is Light, so delicate, so innocent, an outlaw? The notes of this charming perfume that are either limited by, or untested by IFRA are shown in red.

Top notes: Sicilian cedrat, Israeli yellow grapefruit, French juniper berry.
Middle notes: Chinese aglaia flower, French genet flower, North Carolina ambergris.
Base notes: Hojari frankincense oil, edible frankincense sacra resinoid

I believe this is the first perfume to feature aglaia as a soliflore.  The genet supports is beautifully, adding a bit of a musk note!  The drydown reveals the true aglaia scent, which can last for two hours or more on your wrist or neck, many hours on your hair or clothing, or in a perfume locket.  The light, lemon-tinged frankincenses are the perfect base support for this soliflore. This is my wear-anytime, go-anywhere perfume. I adore it.

I have blogged extensively about Aglaia flowers here on my blog, and you can search for posts.  Aglaia was the name of a Greek goddess, and I suspect this is the origin of the name of the plant. Wonder if she was an outlaw-type goddess? ;-)

Participating Perfumers:

Participating Bloggers:

Guild Perfumer's Blogs:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open and I'm waiting for your questions about perfumery, especially natural perfumery and natural raw materials.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Anya's Garden Perfumes Selected for Holiday Gift Guides


How very lovely that two of the four bloggers that grouped together for the Holiday Gift Guide selected my perfumes, Guild, and perfumery courses for inclusion.  I haven't sent any samples to one of the other bloggers ever, and the other in a year or more, so they're not up-to-date on my offerings.  Lucy at Indie Perfumes did make me blush with her praise!

I will be offering 10 perfumes come Monday, Nov. 15th, 2010 when I launch Light and Amberess, so that's a little pre-release leak: the 10 will be offered for $65 for the sample size, a wonderful value.

Here's links to Lucy and Elena's Holiday Gift Guide picks, so you can read about their choices:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giveaway drawing and 20% off Natural Perfumers Guild membership through February 14th, 2010

The Natural Perfumers Guild is having a membership drive. There are vintage and contemporary perfumery books and article included in the membership, plus many prizes to be awarded in a random drawing of the names of the new members. Fees are marked 20% off the usual rate, and can be found at here. The dozens of books and articles that new members can download are listed here.

Deadline to join at the reduced membership rate and be in the drawing is Nov. 30th. Winners may state their choice of prize from the following list:

*Five one-year Basenotes Supporters memberships A $59 value*

Thinking of starting a perfume business? Take part in the chat on the most active perfume site on the Internet. The Basenotes Plus (née Basenotes Supporters) is a great way to connect to the community.

*One Basic Natural Perfumery textbook A $500 value*

This is the textbook for Guild President Anya McCoy's Basic Natural Perfumery course. 349 full-color pages. Winner will be emailed a .zip file of charts, forms, alcohol regs in several countries, MSDS and CoA forms and much more.

*Gift basket from Arly's Naturals A $95 value*

Pamper yourself with these all-natural aromatic goodies.

ARLYS Gold Oval Gift Basket containing:
1- 16 oz. Awakening Shower Gel
1- 4 oz. Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol
1- 10 ml. Serenity Synergy
1- Travel Pocket Diffuser
1- Nefertiti Mini Perfume Bottle
1- Sm. Lavender Sachet

*Catalogues from Mandy Aftel's exhibit at Bendel's NYC *

These illustrated catalogues are collector's items for the natural perfume lover.

*Eden Botanicals Aromatics Kit #2 A $190 value *

These kits are created for Anya McCoy's Basic Perfumery course and contain 59 essences. Winner will be emailed supporting aromatics monographs and information.

Note: this current offer is open to new members only, not renewals.

Sign up here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 7, 2010 - until 10 PM EST

Turning the clock back has me up early, and I'll get you are, too, with perfumery questions. Ask away!